UK’s major cities respond to the Government’s HS2 announcement
In response to the Government’s announcement on HS2 today, Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and campaign chair of HSR/UK, said:
“This is welcome news. We believe that the high-speed rail line (HS2) is essential to help address imbalances in our nation’s economy and help attract jobs and investment to Greater Manchester and other areas outside London and the South East. A new high-speed line will help create much needed extra capacity on the existing rail network and will complement the huge investment which is taking place in local transport here. We now call on the government to do everything possible to push ahead with construction as soon as possible.
“The success of Manchester, and Greater Manchester, depends on continued investment in transport and this is a positive step in the right direction.”
Chris Murray, Director of the Core Cities Group said:
“If the UK wants to remain a competitive place to do business, it must invest in its infrastructure and think big about the future of our economy. HSR represents an opportunity to generate long-term private sector growth and jobs across the whole of the UK, reshaping the national economy to do more, by helping businesses to thrive in and around our major urban centres.”
Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“The go-ahead for HS2 provides probably the single most important opportunity for economic growth in this region for generations.
“The benefits for Birmingham and the West Midlands are clear and unquestionable – job creation, increased productivity and greater investor appeal, all of which will ultimately bring direct benefits to families who live and work in the region.
“It’s great news that we’re taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity to invest for the future and build a 21st century high speed transport system which will link us more easily to the key markets and cities right across Europe.”
Geoff Inskip, Chief Executive of Centro in Birmingham, said:
“This is great news for families across our region which has been hit hard by unemployment in the recession. We now look forward to working with the Government to ensure the West Midlands can reap the full rewards HS2 will bring.”
Gary Smerdon-White, Chair of the Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership, said:
“The news today is most welcome for businesses in the East Midlands. Long term vision is needed when it comes to making big strategic transport investment decisions like this. HS2 will help resolve the problems of rail overcrowding we would have faced locally and it will help provide an excellent economic stimulus for cities to the north of London”.
Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey in Leeds, said:
“I am delighted with the announcement today that HS2 will be going ahead. This will have a huge impact on Leeds and should bring great benefits to Yorkshire and the Humber whilst tackling the terrible problem of overcrowding on our current rail network which is already running at capacity. HS2 is a real investment in the future of the North and I am pleased that the Government are ensuring that this important project is going ahead.”
1. For further information or comment please call The Campaign for High Speed Rail on 07758 019 351. We have a range of spokespeople that we can put forward to interview upon request.